Leaders back bid to secure democracy
Kathmandu, August 30:
The eleventh general convention of the Nepali Congress (NC) kicked off today at the Jawalakhel football ground in Lalitpur. Several party leaders and Indian politicians extended their support and best wishes in the parties’ efforts to establish full democracy in the country.
Various leaders and organisations like former Indian prime ministers Chandra Shekhar and IK Gujral, British prime minister Tony Blair, the Norwegian Labour Party, the French Socialist Party and the German Social Democratic Party, wished the party leadership good luck. Addressing the inaugural session, CPN-UML general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said the time was ripe for the alliance to pave way for “democracy without a monarch.” “The significance of monarchy has been wiped out by the king himself,” he said, accusing the King of being “autocratic and ambitious.”
The chairman of the Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP), Surya Bahadur Thapa, came down heavily on the government for its “irrational decision” to bar the NC to hold its convention at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC). Former prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand however emphasised on a national consensus to bail out the country from “deepening crises.” President of the Janamorcha Nepal, Amik Sherchan, ridiculed the king for his “willingness to open talks with the parties by shutting the doors of the BICC.” “I hope GP Koirala has understood this, I need not elaborate,” Sherchan said, adding: “Where there is King there are guns and lathis.” Acting president of the NC (D) Gopal Man Shrestha said chances of a positive result from talks with the King are slim. United Left Front leader CP Mainali, Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party leader Narayan Man Bijukche laid stress on complete democracy. The closed-session of the convention will start at 8 am tomorrow at the party office in Sanepa.
Indian leaders extend support
KATHMANDU: Leader of the Indian National Congress, Anil Shastri, extended his support to the ongoing NC-led movement for democracy. “There cannot be any good without democracy.
It is vital for Nepal’s development, progress and peace,” he said. He, however, suggested that Nepali people understand the root of democracy. Ramesh Dixit of the Indian Nationalist Congress also extended his support to the movement for democracy in Nepal. Insisting that a country should be for the people and not the king, leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Basudev Bhattacharya said, “A king cannot understand people’s problems.” Leader of the Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee, India, DP Tripathi encouraged the students and the youths to make their presence felt in the democratic movement.
•A historic event of the party, but it seemed that NC could not find a better master of ceremonies. Today’s host was repeatedly making errors and lacked confidence. He mispronounced Girija Prasad Koirala’s name!
•GP Koirala received a gift sent by Sonia Gandhi
•Several mineral water bottles were hurled at the crowd
•A tent reserved for journalists, rights activists and other notables, were mostly occupied by party cadres.